ASHBURN, Va. — One of the House Democrats who despatched a letter to the NFL looking for extra details about its investigation into the Washington Football Team‘s office tradition says he fears Jon Gruden’s emails are the “tip of the iceberg.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., advised ESPN that the representatives needed to become involved as a result of the NFL “holds a special place in American life.”
“The way they handle issues of race and gender and the way they treat their employees really influences the way society handles those very issues,” Krishnamoorthi mentioned. “We’re very much interested in learning more about exactly why the NFL did what they did and the way they did it.”
Gruden resigned as Las Vegas Raiders coach earlier this month following experiences that emails he wrote over a 10-year interval included racist, misogynistic and anti-gay language. The emails have been found as a part of the investigation into Washington’s office tradition.
“The biggest fear is that what Jon Gruden appears to engage in is much more common than what we otherwise thought,” Krishnamoorthi mentioned. “That’s what a lot of people are concerned about.”
Krishnamoorthi and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., who’s chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, requested the NFL to show over quite a lot of paperwork and reply quite a few questions concerning the investigation by Nov. 4.
They haven’t heard from the NFL, Krishnamoorthi mentioned, different than to acknowledge receipt of the five-page letter. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy mentioned in an e mail Thursday evening that the league had obtained the letter and “share [Maloney’s] concern that all workplaces should be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. We look forward to speaking to her office soon.”
If the NFL chooses to not cooperate, Congress might challenge a subpoena. Asked if they might think about suing the league, Krishnamoorthi mentioned, “If the NFL were not to cooperate after we attempted to work with them to enlist their cooperation, then we do have the tools to compel the production of documents. But our hope is it doesn’t get there. I hope we can work with them to get this information.”
In the letter, Maloney and Krishnamoorthi mentioned they need the NFL to supply “all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners, and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation.” They additionally need the NFL to element its function in Beth Wilkinson’s investigation into the franchise and why there was no written report after 150 folks had been interviewed.
“I just don’t know of an investigation where someone is not allowed to document what happened or to document the findings,” Krishnamoorthi advised ESPN, “but that appears to be what happened here. There’s a large body of evidence she reviewed that others reviewed that is also somehow not surfacing in any way.”
Tom Davis served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee from 2003 to 2007 and was the rating minority member on the committee throughout Congress’ 2008 investigation into baseball’s steroid challenge. He mentioned they have been in a position to convey that challenge to a listening to as a result of it had bipartisan assist within the House and since the goal was extra than only one participant or crew.
“Members will want to know why Congress is getting involved and, if so, why are they singling out one team,” Davis mentioned. “This isn’t unique to the Washington Football Team. It’s all over sports. It’s all over locker rooms and college campuses.
“To get to the ground of the House, it’s important to be broader than the Washington Football Team.”
The representative’s letter also raised concerns about nondisclosure agreements that former employees had signed and sought more information about the role of the NFL’s general counsel, Jeff Pash, in the investigation.
“The greatest concern is that what Jon Gruden seems to have interaction in is far more frequent than what we in any other case thought. That’s what lots of people are involved about.”
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.
Pash’s shut relationship with former Washington crew president Bruce Allen was revealed in among the leaked emails, which included matters that ranged from jokes on the league’s range initiatives to rescinding an NFL effective. Allen was fired on the finish of the 2019 season.
Krishnamoorthi mentioned they do not suppose the previous Washington workers who cooperated with investigators have obtained any response.
“The Washington Football Team and the NFL enjoy special privileges under our anti-trust laws,” Krishnamoorthi mentioned. “We thought it was important to get to the bottom of what’s going on in the NFL, in regards to the Washington Football Team in the way they handled their employees. What we’ve seen so far is deeply disturbing.”
Krishnamoorthi mentioned they wish to examine this example to find out if new or stronger legal guidelines have been wanted to assist workers in an analogous setting. He mentioned in addition they wish to make certain the NFL didn’t cowl up data through the NDAs signed by the previous Washington workers.
The emails from Gruden, despatched when he was employed by ESPN because the lead analyst for Monday Night Football, went to Allen’s crew account, which is why they have been uncovered as a part of the NFL investigation. Some have been additionally included in courtroom filings wherein Washington proprietor Dan Snyder tried to indicate that Allen was a supply of leaking unfavourable details about the crew.
Krishnamoorthi mentioned they weren’t requested by anybody to ship a letter to the NFL. He mentioned they’ve been observing the scenario and that Gruden’s resignation “highlighted the rather disturbing nature of the communications happening by high-level officials, and it seems appropriate to now intervene and try to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”